KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — The Malaysian Bar has urged the government to step up efforts in making the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) a legislative priority.
Bar President, George Varughese, in a statement today, also welcomed the government’s move to enhance and convert the existing Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) into the IPCMC.
Varughese stressed that the Malaysian Bar has consistently called for the establishment of the IPCMC, ever since it was proposed by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005.
“Although 13-years have passed since an IPCMC to oversee only the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) was first mooted, the need for it remains as relevant — if not more so — today as it was then,” he said.
“In this regard, we await details as to how the EAIC Act 2009 will be revised. In our view, rather than amend the EAIC Act 2009, a fresh bill for the establishment of the IPCMC would be preferable, and should be tabled without delay,” Varughese suggested.
This comes hot on the heels of an announcement made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last week that the government had decided to strengthen the EAIC by rebranding it as the IPCMC.
Dr Mahathir had said its formation was to ensure it would become a more holistic body to monitor the police force.
Varughese had also on behalf of the Bar offered their services and expertise to assist the government in forming the IPCMC.
“The Malaysian public deserves no less than proper, independent and holistic civilian oversight of and full accountability by the PDRM,” he said.
In supporting the move, Varughese also highlighted the flaws of EAIC, pointing out its generally slow pace in conducting investigations, while being unable to ensure their findings are acted upon by law enforcement agencies.